April 6, 2009

Union workers say funds were mishandled

Union workers from Chicago are complaining funds raised during a six-day sit-in that garnered national attention were diverted from their intended use.

Rebuffed by the National Labor Relations Board, members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America plan to take their complaints to the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Chi-Town Daily News reported Monday.

Workers said that funds raised the during the sit-in staged in December after Republic Windows and Doors unexpectedly closed its plant were meant to support workers displaced by the closing.

We just wanted some transparency, said Guadalupe Romero, one of the workers.

Union organizer Leah Fried said the union has disclosed what happened to the contributions and that union members voted to spend money searching for a new buyer for the plant.

A California company, Serious Materials, has agreed to reopen the plant and hire the laid-off workers at previous wages, Fried said.

National Labor Relations Board attorney Richard Kelliher-Paz said the NLRB dismissed the complaint last week, but he could not provide details on the ruling, Chi-Town Daily News said.